Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Translating Practice

from Wheelocks

If you wish to devote yourself to philosophy and the soul, this pursuit cannot have power without frugality. This frugality is voluntary poverty. Take away, therefore, those excuses of yours: "I do not yet have enough money. If ever I have that 'enough', then I will give the entire me to philosophy." Begin now to study philosophy, not money.

If you want to devote yourself to philosophy (the love of wisdom) and the soul, (you must realize that) this pursuit is impotent without frugality. (The love of wisdom and the love of money cannot coexist.) Stop making excuses, then: "I do not have enough money yet (to devote myself to the study of philosophy. But if I ever do have enough, then I will devote myself completely to the study of wisdom!" Begin now to study philosophy and do not focus on how much money you have. (For as long as your focus is on the money, you will never know wisdom, and as long as you seek wisdom, you must let go of the money as your source of satisfaction. Begin now to live the life you want to have in the future. If you want to devote your future life to the search for wisdom, you must begin searching for wisdom and devoting yourself now.)